This resolution imposes an indefinite moratorium on the assessment and collection of certain criminal justice administrative fees charged by Contra Costa County, California. Specifically, the resolution addresses probation fees (including drug testing fees), public defender fees, and alternatives to incarceration such as electronic monitoring and work programs.
This resolution ends driver’s license suspensions for unpaid parking tickets in Chicago, restructures payment plans, reduces the late penalty for city sticker tickets, and reinstates a 15-day grace period after stickers expire. The reform is expected to produce as much as half a billion dollars in debt relief.
This ordinance eliminates criminal justice administrative fees charged by Alameda County, California. In particular, it eliminates county-imposed probation fees, public defender fees, and fees associated with the Sheriff’s Office Work Alternative Program.
After experimenting with this policy for about two months, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich has permanently adopted a policy of declining to prosecute driving on a suspended license in cases where the license was suspended or revoked for nonpayment of fines and fees.
This legislation discharges all outstanding debt owed by families on behalf of justice-involved youth and mandates that the county inform all affected parents and guardians that they should cease payment as soon as possible. The total amount of debt discharged was over $89 million.
Since the 1970s, Philadelphia Rule of Criminal Procedure 528 allowed courts to keep 3% of total bail posted by defendants, even if they appeared at all hearings required by their bail bond. This October amendment ensures that defendants will receive 100% of their posted bail after their case is closed.
Before this resolution was passed by the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners, the county was charging $25 per day to people detained in the Ottawa County jail. Under the new billing system, detainees will be charged a flat fee of $60 for their incarceration, regardless of how long they stay.
In Tennessee, Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk announced that he will stop prosecuting driver's license violations that result from failure to pay fines and fees, such as driving on a suspended license. His office predicts that this policy change could keep 12,000 charges out of Nashville courtrooms over the next year.
In the summer of 2018, New Orleans became the first city in the South to abolish fees charged to youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
In August 2018, New York City Council passed Intro 0741, making NYC the first U.S. city to agree to make all phone calls free for people who are incarcerated in city jails.